There are quite a few everyday consumers who wouldn’t mind switching retailers if they started accepting Bitcoin. Brand loyalty is not what it used to be a few years ago and there is very little competition between retailers in terms of pricing. The only key area to make a difference, is what types of payment methods are accepted and Bitcoin could be a determining factor in the next few years.
Only 3% Would Switch for Bitcoin, but it’s a Good Start
In this day and age of global competition and localised retailers, consumers are becoming ever demanding. Customers are still king, which is a statement valid for any type of retailer around the world. Not only do these consumers want to avoid queues at the cashier, but they also want to use some innovative and cashless payment options.
Bitcoin payments are the most innovative revolution the financial sector has seen over the past 60 years. Rather than relying on bank cards, paper money, or credit cards, Bitcoin payments do not require additional infrastructure or physical wallets to be used. All a consumer needs is a mobile device and these days, nearly everyone has a smartphone.
For the merchants, there are quite a few benefits to accepting Bitcoin payments as well. Not only can they set up and start accepting Bitcoin payments within mere minutes, most payment processors won’t even charge a fee. Plus, to protect retailers against Bitcoin price volatility, all transactions can be converted to fiat currency values deposited to their bank account the next business day.
Digital payments such as Bitcoin are the missing piece of the puzzle for brands trying to build a strong digital presence. Innovating and taking risks are part of everyday business life, yet with Bitcoin, there is no risk involved for either the consumer or the retailer. Despite low Bitcoin adoption rates on a global scale, there are no additional costs, so it’s well worth the “risk” to accept Bitcoin payments in-store.
These are difficult times for retailers and brands, as consumers are less loyal to a specific name than they used to be in the past. Our world is changing all around us and if one major brand does not “go with the flow”, one of their competitors certainly will. In the end, consumers are the real winners in this war of brands, as their choices dictate the landscape and not the other way around.
Judging by the survey Acquity Group conducted – called the Next Generation of Commerce – as much as 3% of customers would be more than willing to change retailers if they accepted Bitcoin payments. While this number might not seem significant, it is the first time Bitcoin and other digital currencies are part of the criteria to gauge brand loyalty.
Older Generations Value Enhanced Payment Security
In a surprising turn of events, the generations aged 51-68 & 69+ value enhanced payment security the most. The survey made mention of improvements such as fingerprint or other biometric scanning while making a payment. According to mainstream media, younger generations are always the frontrunners when it comes to technological innovations, but it seems like this survey presents a different view.
Other major points of increasing brand awareness include rewarding customers with discounts or coupons for social interaction and accepting other mobile payments in-store. By the look of things, the entire financial and commercial landscape will be shaken up in the very near future and brands are not adequately prepared for this challenge.
Source: Acquity Group
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Acquity Group